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. >>> aloha means good-bye. president obama cuts his hawaiian vacation short to deal with the fiscal cliff. it is already too late? good morning, 7:00 in the east. i'm alina cho. >> and i'm drew griffin. soledad o'brien is off today. "starting point" begins right now. >>> our starting point, a cruel one. a one-two christmas punch from mother nature. tornadoes and blizzards tearing through the south and midwest. >> oh, my god. we need to go. it's right there. >> mobile, alabama, took a real beating. a twister blowing up transformers, leaving more than 25,000 customers without power. reports to damage to homes, a high school, and church. >> it came in behind the church right there, and then all green fluorescent lighting and popping transformers left and right. and we heard the crashing and everything and the power went out. >> i prayed to god as loud as i could, and i was just praying for my safety, and i knew the church was shaking. i just prayed that the church stayed put. >> here is the other half of this story, blizzard conditions blanketing much of the midwest and the northeast will ge
hit the fiscal cliff. what happens to your bottom line if you do? january 1st all the bush tax cuts will expire, all of them with taxes going up an average of $1,600 per household. the payroll tax holiday also expires, that means the tax burden will rise an average of $700 per household. extended unemployment benefits, the ones we were talking about with lisa expire, so collection of unemployment benefits will shrink from 79 or 99 weeks back to 26 weeks in six months. the medicare doc fix expires, a 27% cut in physician payments and the alternative minimum tax will expand to 27 million more americans for whom it was not intended. obama care taxes hit, a 0.9% jump in medicare payroll taxes for those earning $200,000 or more, that is likely to happen regardless of whether or not there's any fix. i bring in senator richard blumenthal, a democrat from connecticut. thanks for joining us. we have five days to go. you think we'll get a deal. >> i'm hopeful. there's sufficient time to reach a deal if we use the common ground we have and that common ground is nobody wants to go over the fisc
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